Wanting to use solely social media these days to market your business is not truly shocking or surprising. In fact, a large number of businesses now depend only on Instagram and Facebook to sell their products and services. They use social media marketing to get to their customers, to offer them discounts, to engage them, and to inform them of industry trends and store updates.

And why not? Social media are free. At least, for now they are free and Facebook at least says it will forever be free. If you are just a startup business, you won’t have to pay for a large conglomerate of marketing firms just to get your brand across to your target audience. But it also does not mean you don’t need marketers to guide you through the whole process of promoting your brand. Effective and successful marketing is a combined effort.

What will happen to your business’ marketing efforts if Instagram or Facebook shut down today or change their algorithm completely, making it harder for your business to reach its target audience? Where will your business find itself, marketing-wise?

Relying on social media alone is not enough to build an empire or even to boost your small business’ brand. Your profiles on Facebook and Instagram should not be the only way for you to engage customers or to reach out to them. Your business must have a myriad of options to reach your customers. One of the most effective tools of marketing today is email marketing. This is a communication method that you can control.

Just like the bygone days of exchanging emails with your high school crush, you need to get your target market off social media and into your mailing list. Though social media remain to be the most critical and probably effective tool of reaching your market, Facebook and Instagram are saturated to the point that small businesses can fade into the background. While it remains free for everyone to use, businesses now need to shell out hundreds of dollars if they want their pages to be highlighted.

On the other hand, here’s email marketing. It’s free. It does the job well. It is direct and straight to the point. And despite many naysayers, it has proven itself over time. It has the power to transform your audience into loyal and paying customers. Remember that customers love feeling special. They love the fact that brands remember who they are. That’s the message you are trying to impart when you are reaching out to them via email.